Skip to main content

The best video-editing software for 2021

If you’re working on a professional vlog, building a business brand online, or just trying to impress everyone with some great family video — you need a great video editor. Any of the following options in our list of the best video-editing software will help you manage the largest projects, find just the effects you want, or create professional-grade videos in minutes with the latest automated features.

Adobe Premiere

  • Starting at $9.99 per month for the Premiere Rush version
  • Windows and Mac
  • No free version
  • Plenty of automation for video editing
  • Can create movies, slideshows and animated GIFs
  • Useful for casual to professional users

Adobe Premiere splits its time between Adobe Premiere Elements 2021 and Adobe Premiere Pro, with the latter being the more professional option, as well as the more expensive app. In either case, you get intelligent editing and flawless video creations that are relatively straightforward to set up while still offering a lot of power if you so wish.

With options for creating movies, slideshows, and animated GIFs, there’s plenty of automation, too, with auto-curation for all your past video files proving particularly useful for families and more casual users, or those in a rush. Adobe Premiere Pro builds upon that with far more professional features as well.

Vegas Edit

  • From $249 for a one-off purchase for Vegas Edit; $13 per month for a subscription
  • Windows 10 only
  • Free trial available
  • Fast and efficient video editing workflow
  • Adaptable for casual to professional users
  • Unlimited royalty-free stock content with the subscription version

Vegas 19 promises to be great for everyone from content creators to professional videographers and editors thanks to an extensive set of video editing tools. It’s possible to create moods with powerful color grading, use artificial intelligence to tweak things, as well as adjust filters and effects to your heart’s content. An easy-to-understand workflow makes it all possible.

Options for Vegas 19 include paying for it as a one-off fee or opting to subscribe to Vegas Edit which is ideally suited for creating videos in an intuitive manner. With hundreds of effects available and plenty of colorization options, there’s a lot you can achieve with Vegas Edit for just $20 per month, right down to royalty-free stock content bundled in and a file backup service. For professionals, consider Vegas Pro to enjoy more extensive features such as motion tracking, color correction tools, and video repair tools, and an accurate text-to-speech translation feature, which is available from $20 per month for the former and $30 per month for the latter.

Apple Final Cut Pro

Apple Final Cut Pro
  • Costs $300 as a one-off fee
  • Mac only
  • No free version
  • Professional video and audio editing capabilities
  • Extensive clip labeling and management tools
  • Plugins available to extend functionality

Working on a Mac? Apple’s Final Cut Pro is expensive but one of the best video editors available on Mac. Apple updated Final Cut Pro in 2017 with a new version of the software that transformed basically everything, offering a fluid interface that works like a dream — once you master all of the ins and outs.

It offers comprehensive video and audio editing designed for detailed work and longer productions, with some of the best clip labeling and management that we’ve seen. And while the primary software is a little lacking in digital effects (it focuses more on color adjustment and transitions), you can download FxPlug plugins to help round out the system.

Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 17

Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 15
  • One off fee of $295
  • Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Free Version is available
  • Used in Hollywood for many video editing projects
  • Extensive training programs available
  • New and more powerful image processing than previous editions

Blackmagic’s professional DaVinci Resolve suite is perfect for editing teams, classes, and managing multiple large projects at the same time. Each tool in the suite, from user collaboration and chat functions to Fairlight Audio compatibility, is designed for pro editing.

Thanks to built-in Fusion FX, some of the most detailed color correction we’ve seen, and all the clip stitching tools you can imagine, there’s no video you can’t tackle with this software. It also pairs well with Blackmagic modular micro panels designed to work with the suite (particularly friendly for in-depth audio editing). Of course, an offering that includes nearly everything possible also has a pretty steep learning curve, so those not in the professional field might want something easier to learn.

Avid Media Composer

  • From $23.99 per month
  • Available for both Windows and Mac
  • Limited free version option
  • Designed for professionals
  • Extensive workflow management tools
  • Plenty of motion effects available

Similar to DaVinci Resolve, Avid Media Composer is a business suite of tools designed for the pros, particularly larger studios with ambitious projects. It offers as much detailed control as possible over tracks, coloring, workflow management, resolution (up to 4K), VFX creation, motion effects — and well, pretty much everything is on the list here. That’s also why the software costs $20 per month to use, and requires a robust computer setup to master. Preferably with a very large screen, since Avid’s interface is particularly detailed and many tools are tiny.

Also, Avid offers Media Composer First, which is a free version that limits you to combining up to four video sources at only 1080p. That’s plenty for many projects, and all you need is an Avid Master Account, making this one of the most powerful free downloads available.

Vegas Pro Edit

Vegas Pro Edit
  • $399 one-off fee
  • Windows and Mac versions available
  • No free version
  • Very customizable interface
  • Full 4K support
  • Number of OFX plugins available

A common pick for many hardworking vloggers, Vegas Pro Edit offers one of the best customizable interfaces in the business. It allows you to place the exact tools you need in the right spaces, so no part of the screen is wasted as you work.

The latest version offers full 4k support, instant free frame, event attribute management, a number of handy OFX plugins for pic-in-pic, lookup tables, and much more. If you already have plenty of experience editing videos but are still looking for software for your personal projects, take time to check out Vegas.

Corel VideoStudio Pro X10

Corel VideoStudio Pro X10
  • Starting from $70 one-off fee
  • Windows and Mac versions available
  • Free trial available
  • Over 1,500 customizable effects and transitions
  • Possible to combine footage from up to four cameras
  • Supports 4K

If you are looking for a more affordable solution (keep in mind there are also plenty of free video editors available), Corel’s suite is only around $65 but still provides many valuable tools for syncing, editing, and converting footage. The downloaded includes more than 1,500 customizable effects, transitions, and other features you can add to your video.

You can also combine footage from up to four different cameras to examine a scene from different angles, as well as mapping clips for different time frames to slow down or speed up footage according to your requirements.

Editors' Recommendations

Tyler Lacoma
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
The best 4K video editing PC build for under $1,000
Some placing a motherboard in a PC.

4K video editing is a demanding task, but you don't need to take out a loan to build a PC that can edit 4K video. With our best 4K video editing PC under $1,000, you can save some money while keeping your timeline smooth.

Want a PC for editing but don't quite have the budget? Here's a great build you can put together for just $500. If you want a PC that's aimed more at gaming in 4K, we have a guide for that as well.
What can this build do?
Since this is a PC designed for editing 4K footage, there were several key considerations we had to make. The first was a powerful, multicore processor, followed by plenty of memory and high-speed storage. We also wanted to make sure the system had a decent graphics card with plenty of VRAM for performing rendering and handling any 3D effects work you want to do.

Read more
The best $500 PC build for video editing
PC build-out guide

You might be able to edit videos on your phone or an old laptop, but it's hardly an ideal experience. Moving to a desktop PC can speed up your workflow significantly, and while you could easily spend thousands on a bespoke-built machine we are going to demonstrate that you can also put together a great  $500 PC build for video editing.

We scoured the web for great hardware deals to help you build a $500 video editing PC. If you're more interested in budget gaming, here's our guide on a great $500 gaming PC.
The build and what it can do
These are troubled times with high prices and low availability of parts, and we could easily have blown our limited budget on the CPU or graphics card. Instead, we have moved away from a dedicated graphics card and have chosen a Intel 10th-gen CPU with integrated graphics. Using a quad-core CPU raises questions about performance, but when you factor in the need for a reasonable amount of RAM and storage, our main priority is decent cooling and reliability as we are fully aware this PC will spend its working life running at 100% load.

Read more
The best desktops for video editing
Corsair One Pro i180 review

If you want a smooth Premiere timeline and speedy renders, you need one of the best desktops for video editing. Video editing is one of the most demanding tasks you can throw at a desktop computer, requiring a lot of power from your CPU and GPU. We've rounded up six options that do the trick for video editing, no matter if you have $500 or $5,000 to spend.

The Alienware Aurora Ryzen Edition takes the top slot, though. It packs AMD's Ryzen 9 5950X processor and up to an RTX 3090, offering top-tier performance for gaming and video editing.

Read more